Puppets in the Style of Paul Klee

Puppets in the Style of Paul Klee at amyhoodarts.com

Materials: Sculpey or air-dry clay; paint; yarn/other scrap materials for decorations; fabric for body; glue

Not long ago, we read quite a bit about artist Paul Klee. I considered him for the featured artist for Art Together: Printmaking (I went with Hokusai), but in the meantime, we really enjoyed learning more about him. Of course, as we read about some of his techniques, my kids said, “Can we try that?” This is one of the can-we-try-that projects, completed by me and my 5yo daughter.

In Paul Klee for Children by Silke Vry, we learned that Klee created puppets for his young son, and we saw a picture of them. This set on Flickr has images of them, and there is a book about them as well. (We didn’t read that book, but the cover shot is a photo of the puppets.) The Vry book contains Klee-related activities at the back–the sort that leave the product wide open. (That is the sort I like!) It suggested using clay for the puppet heads. We have both air-dry clay and Sculpey, but the latter was much easier for 5yo hands to mold, so we used that.

Child's puppet in the style of Paul Klee at amyhoodarts.com

G’s puppet.

Mold the heads so that your finger fits inside the neck–this is how you’ll control your puppet. After molding the heads, we cooked them according to directions (I burned my puppet’s nose and chin!), then painted on their features using liquid acrylic paint. We attached yarn hair using craft glue–G wanted beads in her puppet’s hair–and then sewed their clothes. The shirt/dress is a simple template–make sure the top opening is big enough to fit over your puppet’s neck, and keep the neck hole and the bottom open. Finally, we used craft glue to attach the neck opening of the shirt/dress to the neck of the puppet.

Adult's puppet in the style of Paul Klee at amyhoodarts.com

My puppet.

The ribbons are there to cover up the join between the cloth and the head and because, as G says, “They’re so pretty.” We are rather chuffed with our puppets.

6 thoughts on “Puppets in the Style of Paul Klee

  1. donna lee

    I love the puppets. One of the best crafts I ever did was make sock puppets with some of my clients at work. They loved them and there was one young woman who did not talk much on her own but put a sock on her hand and she went to town! It was amazing.

    Amy, your sketches of flowers are just glorious. You have an eye for what makes the flower come to life and you capture it beautifully.

    1. amy Post author

      thank you, Donna Lee.

      I remember that as a kid, I could say so much more through a puppet. Amazing, isn’t it?

  2. Misa

    These are great! I love G’s, but your is INCREDIBLE. The darker areas (burn)… was that on purpose? They look good and add character.

    1. amy Post author

      thanks, Misa. No, it was totally an accident! We baked them in an old toaster oven–Sculpey smells so strange while cooking, we kept the old toaster just for this sort of thing–and the nose and chin were sticking up and closer to the heating element. the whole thing was an experiment so whatever happened (short of blowing up the toaster) was cool with me!

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